- 2022 SBNC Nominates Three Candidates to School Board
The 2022 School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) has selected Colleen Brown, Suzie Hahn Pascutti and Ron Schulhof from the pool of dedicated and talented citizens for the 2022 non-partisan slate for election to the Scarsdale Board of Education. If elected during the school board election on May 17, 2022, Brown and Hahnwill assume their roles as first term school board members and Ron Schulhof will return for his second term effective July 1, 2022.
Colleen Brown has volunteered extensively in the community and has held many leadership roles. At QRS, over the years she was very involved in the school and some of the key roles she volunteered for were the Co-Chair of the “Learning From our Differences Program”, a QRS PTA Executive Council Member, a PTC Executive Member and last but not least, President of the QRS PTA. She has worked extensively with the many stakeholders in the community including parents, teachers, PTA leaders in other schools, QRS administration, District administration and the School Board. In all of these roles Colleen was a steadfast, and a strong leader. She succeeds in her roles by being an excellent listener, a great collaborator, a creative problem solver – who is able to bring out the best in all of those around her. When you spend time with Colleen her kindness, thoughtfulness and professionalism is contagious.
Aside from her volunteer activities at QRS Colleen served on the SBNC from 2016-2019 and she was also the SBNC Administrative Council Co-Chair from 2019-2021. In her roles with the SBNC, as all of you here can imagine, Colleen has become very familiar with the qualities that the community looks for in School Board Members and the commitment required of those on the School Board. Prior to moving to Scarsdale, Colleen worked for 10 years at the Leman Manhattan Preparatory School which is currently a private K-12 school in lower Manhattan. When Colleen started at the school in 2006, it was a brand-new school built from scratch serving the K-5 student population. In its first year, the school had 54 students enrolled and when she left the school 10 years later it had over 600 students.
She initially was hired as the Director of Wellness, Nutrition and Food Service to develop the wellness curriculum as the school took a holistic approach to child education. The curriculum she developed was for grades 1 – 8 and included nutrition education and social/emotional/physical curriculum. She was a classroom teacher in this area for four years. She was also a classroom teacher for Science grades 5-8.
After a number of years Colleen moved into administrative roles and was the 6th Grade Dean, the Interim Assistant Head of the Middle School and lastly the Assistant Head of the Upper School. At the time that she left the school to move to Scarsdale she had been offered the position of Head of the Upper School. In these roles she tackled things such as new grading systems, implementation of new homework policies, math curriculum review, new teacher evaluation system, addressing parent and teacher concerns, parent communication, teacher support, implementation of I-Pad program, hiring and training new faculty, scheduling, facility planning, development and integration of boarding program and much much more.
Colleen was on the hiring committees which selected multiple administrators including the Head of School (equivalent to Superintendent), the Head of the High School and many Division Heads. She was very involved in the interview and selection process for these hires.
The school faced re-development of the math curriculum, the debate of AT vs. AP classes, DEI Curriculum. The school served a diverse population from many different areas and countries and had to create a strong support system particularly for the students who boarded at the school. Colleen oversaw the implementation of the international baccalaureate diploma program as the high school transitioned away from the standard high school diploma to a diploma recognized in many countries.
Colleen throughout her professional and personal life has been passionate about education, the welfare of children and contributing to the community that she is a part of. She would bring to the School Board her dedication and professionalism. She would enthusiastically embrace the challenges ahead of her and would contribute the important perspective to board activities as a parent AND as a former educator / school administrator.
Suzie Hahn Pascutti
As a Scarsdale resident for over 11 years, it is evident from her long and continuous list of accomplishments since her oldest child started Kindergarten that Suzie does not shy away from opportunities to contribute to our District. She served as PT Council Treasurer for two years, overseeing all aspects of training and guiding all the Scarsdale unit PTAs in matters of its fiduciary responsibilities.
Suzie has worn a plethora of hats in various volunteering efforts there over her 8 year tenure including annual activities, like book fairs and evening events, all the way up to the highly demanding daily roles of Webmaster, After School Clubs Chair and PTA President.
If your family has joined the PTA at your child’s school, if you utilize the online PTA school directories, if you ever visit a PTA website for one of the Scarsdale schools or if you receive eblasts from your child’s school, you have benefited from the diligent work of Suzie Hahn Pascutti who introduced Membership Toolkit to our District back in 2018. Over the past 4 years, Suzie has been a champion for this unifying technology platform that aggregated these various parts of the PTA efforts into a centralized system.
Suzie has served on many committees at the District level including the 2018 bond for Building/Facilities, Code of Conduct review, and various nominating and search committees, uniquely positioning her with first-hand knowledge and experience that would be instrumental in the evaluation of and/or training for a new superintendent to Scarsdale over the next 3 years.
As part of the League of Women Voters, she is in her second year as School Portfolio Chair, covering the school budget in great detail as well as on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Suzie’s professional experience as a managing director at D.E. Shaw further bolsters her credentials as a potential Board of Education member, providing our sitting members with her financial acumen for the critical board tasks of budget evaluation and debt service on behalf of the community and engagement in collective bargaining agreements.
Ron Schulhof has been a resident of Scarsdale for 8 years. His commitment to this role on the Board of Ed is exemplified by the number of liaison assignments he has taken and by his active participation during board meetings. Ron is a huge proponent of community engagement and his actions back up his words. He has spent countless hours on the phone with village constituents and truly values their input, acknowledges their concerns and works to find solutions for the problems we face.
In addition to serving on the Scarsdale Forum and holding a number of School Volunteer positions including his participation on Sustainability Committees and Mentoring Committees, Ron also volunteers as a Basketball Coach every winter and a Little League Baseball coach every spring. Beyond his formal coaching, Ron is constantly organizing group games and events for the neighborhood kids. In all of these endeavors, from the BOE to the ad-hoc Crossway flag football games, Ron is motivating, innovative and encouraging.
Five years ago, Ron, along with Michele Sterling, partnered with the Village Board and started the first food scrap recycling program in all of Westchester. They began the program in the schools, working with the administration, principals, teachers, custodians and aides. They then moved on to houses of worship and ultimately took it into individual homes. Our town was the first to have a program of this kind and it became a model for other communities.
Ron already brings many strengths to the Scarsdale Board of Education. He is extremely dedicated to our community and our children. He spends numerous hours each week getting up to speed on any issues that will be addressed during School Board meetings and is always thoughtful in the points he raises and the questions he poses. Ron has proven over and over that he has the dedication, focus, motivation and drive to be an effective member of our Board of Education.
About SBNC and Its Nominating Process
The SBNC is a non-partisan committee comprised of 30 voting members (six from each of the five elementary districts) who serve for three year terms, and three non-voting members.
Over the course of Sunday meetings from January through March, this year’s committee conducted extensive candidate outreach to encourage interested community members to apply, listened to applicant presentations, questioned them in the new interview format, conducted detailed due diligence on all applicants and considered potential candidates’ qualifications and characteristics.
Pursuant to the SBNC Resolution, committee deliberations concerning candidates are confidential and the SBNC selects candidates “solely on their qualifications to serve the community” and not on their campaigning abilities or positions on specific issues. Informed and engaged residents willing to serve on the SBNC and the School Board, along with voter participation, help to ensure the highest quality school board leadership.
The SBNC congratulates the 2022 nominees and thanks all applicants who went through the nominating process.
“We thank the SBNC, all applicants, and the Scarsdale community for their commitment to the Scarsdale School system and educational excellence.”
– Seema Jaggi and Amy Schiff, 2022 SBNC Co-Chairs